Why would you create a Christian Mandala?
The short answer is to accelerate your Spiritual growth.
Recall, in the Introduction blog, I stated that I create Christian Mandalas while I study the Bible by filling in a circle with my thoughts as I read and reflect on a Bible passage. This activity changes my heart, that core part of me which discerns God’s will versus the standards set by culture. As a result, my behavior changes. I am becoming more Christ-like over time. See Romans 12:2.
It’s not just me.
Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago is a Christian megachurch. Before COVID, attendance ran approximately 18 thousand on a given weekend. One of the executive Pastors was nagged by the questions: Are we helping people become more Christ-like? Are folks growing in their love for God and others? A survey was taken of the congregation. The results showed that 18% of the community was stalled in their spiritual growth. Many others were dissatisfied with the church. Ouch. The Willow Creek team went on to survey over 1000 other churches, 250,000 congregants. Willow Creek wasn’t alone in their results.
As part of the survey, the team also tried to understand what was the most effective activity to enable Spiritual growth. The results are given in the book: Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth. The survey shows that the most effective activity that helped people grow Spiritually was: Reading and reflecting on Holy Scripture. This endeavor was up to twice as effective than any other activity.
“Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture. If churches could do one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible—specifically, to reflect on Scripture for meaning in their lives.” page 19
“Hands down. No contest. When it comes to spiritual growth, nothing beats the Bible.” page 167
If you can’t get to church, or you are looking for something to do while you are stuck at home, consider reading the Bible.
The mandala shown is titled, Blessed are the Poor in Spirit from Matthew 5. In the context of Jesus’ sermon, the poor includes both an economic component and a spiritual component.
In the next blog, we will take a look at why creating Christian Mandalas is a powerful approach for the study of Scripture. Again, we will see that the approach utilizes many of the techniques Jesus used in his ministry.